I read your column every week, and a few years ago you helped me with a problem I had with my niece. But I am writing now about the woman who had an intruder [“Imaginary intruder,” SN&R Ask Joey, June 25]. Why doesn’t she set up a video camera to catch him in the act?
Um, because there is no intruder? If a man from her past was actually entering her fully alarmed, guard-dog-protected abode on a regular basis without damaging the home or setting off dog or alarm, if he left an old cassette tape once but never took anything, she wouldn’t be waiting weeks for her brother to install more locks, right? She would have called a locksmith immediately and informed the alarm company that its product failed. A video surveillance that exhibits zero will just bolster her belief that this man is a wily criminal. It’s more likely that she uncovered the cassette herself but doesn’t recall that moment. Some time later, she spied the tape and suddenly remembered she lent it out years before (and forgot it was returned). Stress, menopause or Alzheimer’s disease can cause forgetfulness. Schizophrenia and drug use can cause hallucinations. I’m betting on an organic cause.
I think that the woman who wrote you about an intruder is being haunted by a ghost.
Ay-yi-yi! Did Melinda Gordon tell you to write me? Ghost whisperers aside, I don’t invest too much in the notion of the undead. When I was growing up, my mother was obsessed with the paranormal, but one of her brothers was a professional magician. I have seen, literally, the tricks employed to spook people. Plus, as a student of poetry, dreams and religion, I tend to think symbolically. That means, in my world, what we call ghosts are simply projections of disassociated energy from the person who is experiencing the ghost. In other words, the woman with the intruder is afraid of the unknown that keeps breaking into her conscious mind, and she feels powerless to stop the intrusion. The unknown usually symbolizes a major life change like aging or a call to a new career or lifestyle. By applying a symbolic interpretation, we can grow in self-awareness rather than dissolve into fear. After all, everything happens to inspire our spiritual evolution.
After long-term relationships with an alcoholic and then a rageaholic, I tried Internet dating. I am now happily married. So I wanted to add my input to your response to the woman dating someone out of state. I am overweight and never cared for guys who focused on appearance, because they were judgmental of me. Many men I dated had the ideals I sought but treated me poorly—not calling or spending time with me as much as I wanted and not having any real commitment. Don’t be fooled by wonderful phone sex. That is likely all he wants from you (been there). A man will string you along if he can get away with it. If he’s out of state, he should make the effort to visit inside of one month. But there are also many wonderful local men who are lost at finding a nice mate and feel shy after the end of a long-term marriage. Be wary of men who bring little to the table financially, because you will end up supporting them. And know that even if you don’t have everything in common, if you can learn from each other, be introduced to new things by each other and can see that gleam in his eye when he looks at you, it’s worth it!
Thank you for a beautiful reality check!